Our last seminar on May 2nd, 2024, was all about “Vodka, Diamonds, and Graphene”. Our invited guest was Albert Dato, who is currently a professor at Harvey Mudd College, where he directs the Energy and Nanomaterials Lab. This lab focuses on developing solutions to energy and environmental challenges through the synthesis and applications of advanced materials. His research is supported by a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

In his talk Albert Dato shared his career and experiences in science with us, which were not always straightforward. He wanted to get his PhD in order to become an astronaut, but instead ended up in his dream job, in which he inspires and motivates undergraduate students everyday. He was planning to grow nanodiamonds, but instead ended up with some black powder, which was surprisingly graphene. This is how he discovered the synthesis of graphene in atmospheric plasmas.

Albert Dato left us a clear message: Be ready for unexpected observations!

Thank you for such an inspiring talk, Albert Dato.